Jobless Benefits Extension Clears One Hurdle, but More Remain

1/7/14
 
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from The New York Times,
1/6/14:

A Democratic push to extend unemployment benefits that have expired squeaked past a Republican filibuster Tuesday, setting off intense negotiations to find a way to pay for the program and win over a skeptical House leadership.

The Senate’s 60-to-37 vote to take up a three-month extension of benefits passed with no room to spare, and some of the six Republicans who voted yes made clear they want the cost of the extension set off by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Still, it was the rarest of Washington moments, a genuine surprise.

“It was in the balance til the very last minute,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, an author of the measure with Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada.

President Obama, flanked by unemployed Americans as he spoke in the East Room of the White House, tried to keep up the pressure, first on the Senate to pass the bill and then on the House.

“We’ve got to get this across the finish line without obstruction or delay,” he said, even as he praised the surprise outcome.

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